Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - week 6

The Ladies Bible Study group at Pearson has been studying Angela Thomas' "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" for about 6 weeks now. It has been a little frustrating for me to try and pick which topic to pull from the study and post about each week. This study TRULY relates to every woman, whether you think you are beautiful or not.
Since we are talking about legalism this week, I am going to share what Angela says about it. Just after sharing the story of the prodigal son, Angela explains what the "older brother" may look like today...meet "the Church Lady"....
Angela says:
"Most of my Jesus days, I have been a great Church Lady. Do you know any women like me? There are bunches of us everywhere. We smile a lot. We serve a lot.It's fun to be a church lady because it's like a little club. There is a lingo and rites of passage, and who knows, there may even be a secret handshake in there somewhere.
Once you get this Church Lady thing down, it feels like you have God figured out too.You know the appropriate times to smile, nod your head in agreement, to mummer an amen, and raise your hands in worship.
You kind of get this whole church groove going and it begins to feel like you've made it somehow. Nursery duty every month. Women's Bible Study once a week. Visitation. Outreach Projects. Youth Group retreats and fundraisers. And let us NEVER forget the creme de la creme for all church ladies......Vacation Bible School. Whew. The church lady is busy, but that means she is close to God, right?
Maybe....But maybe you've taken so many spiritual gifts surveys that you are quite tired of spiritual gifts.Maybe you're tired of serving, tired of smiling, and tired of prayer requests about Great Aunt Marge's cousin's wife's bunion. Maybe you have become a proper church lady. Theologically educated. hospitable. Quiet and gentle. But for some reason, incredibly empty.
Where is the passion, for heaven's sake? Where is the excitement? Why are Christian counselors booked solid with CHRISTIAN women who are dying on the inside?
Maybe you are like me and the first step to the answer is lying down the church-lady pretending.Now look inside your heart. anything powerful in there? Good? Holy? No. There is a want. A desire, But there is nothing in you that can make you whole. So go ahead and admit it. Empty. Desperately hungry and dying to have food that will last. You have tried, but cannot feed yourself.
The woman who realizes that she cannot fill her own soul becomes desperate for GOD to save her....the woman who does anything to get to GOD....
OH GOD! Make me an un-church lady!
Make me desperate!
Make me yours!"

A church lady not only gets tired, she can get bitter too, and can look very much like the unforgiving elder brother in the story of the prodigal son. When she realizes that she cannot fill her own soul, she realizes the same thing the prodigal did.....she needs her Father, and runs home......

Oh God! Make me an unchurch lady!
Make me desperate!
Make me yours!